Does Your Office Need Business-Grade WiFi?

Business grade WiFi

In today’s business world, having great WiFi isn’t a luxury – it is a necessity. For some small businesses, consumer grade WiFi may be sufficient (especially if it is not widely used), but with the explosion is usage of mobile devices many find that business-grade WiFi is more appropriate. As companies grow, there becomes a tipping point where business-grade is necessary. So how do you know if your business is ready for business-grade WiFi? Ask yourself the following questions to find out.

How many devices use your Wireless Network?

It used to be that a few laptops connected to your WiFi network, but that is no longer the case. With the rise of portable devices such as smartphones, tablets and other devices  each person may be connected to your wireless network from several devices. Consumer-grade hardware is designed for just a few people (ie the small amount that typically live in a single household) but can not manage larger amounts of users and all of their devices. This is especially true for sustained concurrent usage. Remember that your employees aren’t the only people who expect to be able to connect to your WiFi. One of the first things visitors and customers typically do is look for a WiFi network to connect their smartphones to.

What is the size and area of your workspace?

The number of access points you will need for your business is dependent on the amount of physical space that needs to be covered, the shape of the area, wall material and the number of users / devices. In smaller spaces, consumer-grade WiFi may be good enough. Larger, oddly shaped spaces benefit from business-grade. If your building’s walls are made of brick, cinder blocks, or cement, you likely need more access points than buildings made of other materials. Make sure you have a strong connection from all locations. It is annoying to only be connected to wireless in certain areas of a building and find yourself in a deadzone one step later.

Access points for business-grade WiFi tend to be more powerful and flexible. For example, some business WiFi systems can move Wi-Fi devices from a crowded access point to one that is less busy. By doing this, everyones access remains consistent. If you foresee your range needing to increase, such as renting out more space, it is much easier to add more access points to a business-grade network than consumer-grade one. Businesses that anticipate scaling up soon are better off with business-grade WiFi.

Do you want guests to have the same quality Wi-Fi as workers?

In households, where consumer-grade WiFi hardware is used, all users share the wireless network equally. In a home environment, if children are slowing down the internet with Netflix or video games, it is not a big problem. However, a choked business WiFi can cause a lot of problems. Business-grade WiFi allows you proper network management. You can assign a designated amount of bandwidth to different users so they are unable to clog the entire connection. You can also allow visitors internet access without giving them unlimited access to your local network.

How much does the internet affect your employees’ productivity?

For some companies, workers only use WiFi for a few quick tasks. With these types of businesses, if the internet is slow, it won’t have a big impact on how much work your employees get done and consumer-grade wireless might be a good choice. For other companies where there isn’t much people can do if the WiFi isn’t working well then a business grade connection is essential. WiFi troubles can also lead to frustrated and unhappy workers.

Strong WiFi is a necessity for all businesses. This is especially true for larger businesses that connect a lot of devices (from both an employees and visitors perspective) and have a large work area. Also for those where employee productivity depends on a strong connection. The goal is to keep your business-critical technology running smoothly. Consider carefully whether consumer-grade Wi-Fi or business-grade Wi-Fi is the best choice for your business. When you ask yourself the questions above, the answer should become clear.

If you are in Adelaide, South Australia and your business’s wireless network is struggling then give us a call on (08) 8326 4364 or via email at support@dpcomputing.com.au to discuss a solution.

The Best Way to Purchase New Computer Systems

Buying new computers

You have decided to buy a new computer for your business or perhaps even a whole set of new computers. You can almost taste the excitement as you think about those sleek new machines and how much more productive your employees will be. There is just one thing left to do: actually choose which ones you need. This is where it starts to gets tricky. Most people pop down to their local retail store and look at the display models and then get overwhelmed when the salesperson starts throwing around technical jargon. This scenario almost always ends up with your business having the wrong computer. Here’s why, and what you should do instead.

Most retail salespeople are minimally trained
Unsurprisingly, salespeople are trained to sell! They may have an interest in computers and they’re certainly great at reading the words on the box to you, but that maybe the limit of their knowledge. Their main goal is to make the sale, earn the commission and go home happy. You want a computer to suit your business needs, which isn’t particularly high on the salespersons priority list. They are not equipped to deeply understand the way your business works and nor do they have the time or desire to find out. You are also more likely to be upsold extras you don’t need but can rapidly drain your budget.

Compatibility can be a problem
There are so many moving parts to your business network, from printers to routers, laptops to desktops and a variety of software programs that anytime you throw a new computer into the mix you could end up with compatibility problems. Salespeople don’t know what your current setup is at your office but may still make recommendations based on assumptions and hopeful guesswork.

Even the number and types of ports available on retail computers may cause a problem once you’re setting up. The last thing you want to do is end up with a collection of wobbly adapter plugs as you attempt to make do until it is time for a do-over.

Most computers sold at retail stores only come with the home versions of the operating system and MS Office software. This then leads to another round of compatibility issues.

Yes you can may be able to create workarounds but this then leads to efficiency and performance hits. It is best to skip the drama and get the right computer first time around.

Support could get tricky
Your IT provider will often stick to a handful of vendors to ensure all parts are kept uniform. That way they know which parts will work together, and should something fail, they can usually get replacements quickly. IT support providers often have special relationships with suppliers and vendors and can get special pricing, extended support and upgrades that a salesperson can’t match. Your IT budget goes further with your consultant, and not just on the day of purchase.

When you buy computers through your IT provider, you know you are getting the exact computer your business needs. They know your business inside and out, including your long and short-term goals and if needed will do more research before making  recommendations.

IT providers will also provide business class systems with business class warranties. Remember, you will want your computers to last at least 3-4 years of heavy usage, so it’s a good idea to buy only business-grade computers and components. While the computers at the retail store are equally shiny, they are rarely as durable as the ones your consultant can supply.

As well as selling you the new systems your IT provider will also be able to set the new computers up, ready to go with the exact software you need. They can strip out all the bloatware (unnecessary programs and trials that come pre-installed) and configure your new computers to your needs. Your employees will then be able to enjoy the new systems and take full advantage of the productivity boosts you paid for from day one. That means internet working, internal network connected, your programs playing nice with each other, printing without problems and all your settings data and email transferred from the old computer!

If you are in South Australia we can help with your next purchase – ask us how by contacting us now on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au!

How to Get the Right Tech for Your New Business

getting the right tech

Congratulations on starting your new business! Costs can easily escalate and tech is often one of the bigger expenses. Just the sheer number of technologies available can overwhelm and confuse you. The latest tech has amazing features you didn’t know you needed, and suddenly your budget has gone skywards!

So how do you get the tech right for your business, without all the headaches and drama?

Do You Actually Need It?

Using a cloud application may mean you can skip the big server purchase and the ongoing maintenance costs of a server. Many line of business applications will have a cloud option that allows you to get all the benefits without the big upfront expense. So before you make the hardware purchase, look at what applications you require and whether a cloud version will suit your needs. You may be able to start with a basic package and expand to new versions as your business grows.Things to consider include: do you require remote access, will you need collaboration, do multiple users require access. This level of detail can be overlooked and causes expenses to spiral.

Get Professional Advice

It is easy and cheaper to ask friends and family what their recommendations are, but there are many more factors to consider than just their personal preference. Of course you can trust their input but they may be speaking from a consumer perspective, basing their recommendation on brand loyalty or on how another business does things (which may not be the best business model). As every business is different and matching the correct technology with the business can save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

Buy Business Grade

The majority of computers and laptops you see in the big department stores are not up to business standard. They are designed for home users to perform quick tasks and not run a full 8 – 12 hour (or more) a day workload. Business grade systems have additional features that your business needs, plus longer warranties and better support. Even attached peripherals like network switches and printers are built to a higher standard, to last longer and perform better.

Prioritize Flexibility

Businesses grow and evolve during their first few years and the last thing you want to do is go out and buy new tech, playing catch-up and cobbling together an assorted mismatch of devices. Your new technology should be as flexible as your business, which means making purchasing decisions based on business strategy and not just on price. Perhaps this means instead of workstations for employees, they may only need tablets or rather than having a fixed point of sale system, you might choose mobile checkout devices so your staff can assist customers on the go. These two examples highlight how easy it is to commit to certain tech because it is ‘what you do’ but later discover you’re locked into a certain way of doing business. Trying to change business processes down the line impacts productivity, efficiency and culture in a big way, so we recommend buying with your future success in mind.

Choose A Trusted IT Partner

During your initial set up and growth, you will need an IT partner who can not only help with your purchase strategy but support you through any problems as they occur. That is the difference between a partner and a supplier, a partner is committed to driving long-term business success for you.

You can call on your partner and know they are immediately up to speed with your business, they know how IT can help leverage your competitive advantage and which critical systems they should focus on.

Getting good technology in place shouldn’t be seen as just an expense. It improves your productivity and allows you to serve your clients and customers better while enjoying consistent growth.

If you need an IT partner to help your business grow, give us a call at 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au.